Khodiyar Mataji Mandir
Yatra or pilgrimages to Mataji’s Mandir is a duty of every Maher to pay their homage to thei Kuldvi. Many go to great length to visit such sacred mandir’s to see/darshan, and to do puja and give offerings such as chundali and nariyar (coconut). People also go to these places to ask for blessing, especially weddings when married couple are required to visit their kuldevi. There is up to 12 to 13 kuldevis.
Matajis Mandirs are scatered all over india, most of them are in Gujarat. Some of these places have been here for many thousands of years. Mataji comes to protect us from evil and when she does come, Mataji comes in different forms (Avatars). This is why we have some many matajis or different names and forms.
Here are some religious places were you could go:-
|Amba Mataji||Ambaji / Arasur|
|Harsiddhi Mataji||Koyala Parvat/ Harshad|
|Boot Bhavani Mataji||Arnej|
The 51 Shakti Piths
It is said in purans that Lord Shankar with his wife Sati came to the yagna organised by his father-in-law Daksh. Daksh, the father of Sati insulted Lord Shankar, there upon Sati surrendered herself to yagna and embraced to death. Being mad Lord Shankar held her dead body on his shoulder and stated Tandav-Dance. That had created havoc in the world and all the creatures and human beings plunged into loud wailing. The Gods were frightened requested Lord Visnu, so he had thrown his ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ which had split the body into different sections. As per ‘Tantra Chudanrani” and ” Gyanaranay” the different parts of her body and ornaments wore by her were fallen at 51 places. These places were established as ‘ Shakti Piths’.
Maa Mahakalika temple, Pawagadh is one of the biggest tourist and pilgrimage centres in the dynamic state of Gujarat which attracts lakhs ot tourists and pilgrims every year and tops the list of educational institutions’ excursion programmes.
From the city of Baroda, at a distance of 45 Kms. the old town of Pawagadh is located. The entire area is mainly forest land and very picturesque.
Champaner has a rich, rare and little known history. It goes back to early stone age on the basis of pre-historic stone tools recovered from the area. The rocks have the appearance of light yellow with tinge of red, like champaka flower or flame of the fire. Thus, the name Champaner to the town and Pawagadh to the hill fort. The town set up in the 8th century A.D by the Chauda dynasty, remained the political capital of Gujarat till 1536. The area is dotted with structures of archeological importance. The entire area is declared as protected area by the Archeological Survey of India.
On the hill top, the ancient famous temple of Mahakalika is located. It is beleived to be one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. The right toe of Goddess Kalika fell here. On the ground floor of the temple is Shakti Peeth and idol of Goddess Kali visited by Hindus and on the roof of the building is a Mazar of a Peer, visited by Muslim devotees. In the same structure, two places of worship stand and two sets of devotees visit them in perfect peace and harmony. A unique distinction indeed.
Goddess Mahakalika has been fulfilling wishes of millions of devotees for thousands of years.
At a distance of 65 Kms from Palanpur and 45 Kms from Mt. Abu near Gujarat Rajasthan border the religious town of Ambaji is located. This town is famous for the Maa Ambaji temple, one of the richest and holiest temple in Gujarat attracting lakhs of pilgrims from Gujarat and neighbouring Rajasthan every year. The original seat of Ambaji Mata is on Gabbar Hilltop, which is 3 Kms away from Ambaji town. Ambaji Mata temple is one of the 51 shakti peeths where it is believed the heart of Goddess Parvati fell.
Ambaji Mata temple at Gabbar is very ancient, origin of which is lost in antiquity. It is believed that Goddess Amba was one of the deities of Pre-Aryan race, which Aryans absorbed in their pantheon. On the Gabbar Hill the footsteps of Goddess are imprinted. The imprint of Her chariot is also found here. It is believed that the tonsure ceremony of Lord Krishna also took place here. Ambaji temple has a golden yantra made jointly with the yantra of Nepal Shaktipeeth at Ujjain. There are 51 shlokas on the yantra.
Lakhs of devotees visit the temple every year especially on Purnima days culminating into a large mela on Bhadarvi Purnima. Goddess Ambaji Mata has been fulfilling wishes of her devotees for thousands of years.
There are three major sites to be visited on Gabbar Hill. One is the Holy New Temple of Mata Ambaji, where there are some Foot prints incurved on the rock. The other one is Holy Tree of Pipal, under which Lord Krishna’s hairs were removed as a ritual in his childhood. And the third one is Cave of Ambaji, where devotees can hear voice of the swinging of Mataji. Shri Arasuri Ambaji Mata Devasthan Trust has also planned to resurface the surrounding rocks at the Gabbar temple and to enlarge the Gabbar Chowk, with
marble floorings. It is also decided to repair all the foot steps on the way to Gabbar and to construct a broad Sun Set Point on the top of Gabbar Hill. The Temple trust has also proposed to design a big parking plot, restaurant, canteen and shopping complex at the bottom of the Gabbar Hill Chotila dedicated to Goddess Chamunda is built on a hill called chotila at a height of 1,173 feet. The temple is crowded with tourists and pilgrims all round the year specially during the Navratri Festival. The Chotila village is sited at the foot of the Chotila hill.At the end of the navaratri festival a big havan is taken place on top of the chotila hill. Chotila has more than 700 steps. At the bottom when you come down from chotila hill there are many shops were you can by many religious items such as matajis chundari,kunko(religious powder), cassetts and lots more.thestory is when Demons Chand and Mund came to conquer Devi Mahakali and in the fight that ensues, the Devi cut their heads and presented these to Maa Ambika, who in turn told Mahakali that you will be worshipped as Chamunda Devi.
Virji Bhagat’s Place – Chotila
Sayala’s Lalji Bhagat, Virpur;s Jalaram Bapa and Chotila’s Virji Bhagat have been the renowned and religious souls of Gujarat. Virji Bhagat was born in the Bhalada region in the year 1876. Bhoj Khachar belonging to the Darbar race had great faith in Virji Bhagat’s preachings. He had also offered a piece of land to Virji Bhagat where the temple was later built in 1925.
Just 8 km away from Ambaji near the Origin of the Vedic Vargin River Saraswati, there is an ancient temple of Shri Koteshwar Mahadev, attached with a Holy Kund and the flows of river Saraswati from the Mouth of Cow Gaumukh , incurved in a rock. As per a legend there was an Ashram of Rushi Valmiki, the author of Ramayana, near Valmiki Mahadev temple and the King of Mevad, Maha Rana Pratap had renovated this holy temple, It is said that during the Mutiny of Independence in 1857, Nana Saheb Peshwa had taken his abode in the cave of this temple. This Place is a beautiful & peaceful in forest.
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